M A I N   N E W S

Manhole Deaths
Compensation causes discord
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation appears to have opened a pandora’s box by paying compensation to the two sanitation employees who died while cleaning the sewer at Mansa earlier this week. Families of both employees were paid Rs 2 lacs each yesterday.

But now a section of its employees are up in arms, complaining that no such compensation was ever paid to the families of employees who died earlier ‘on duty’ and questioning why the authorities paid up in this case within 24 hours of the employees’ death.

President of the Safai Karamchari Union, Hans Raj Gaggat, declared that a class IV employee is not usually transferred or sent on deputation. He questioned the ‘special treatment’ received by the families of the two employees when ‘not a single family’ of employees who died earlier, received any compensation whatsoever.

Another controversy has been sparked off by the Mansa MC writing directly to the Ludhiana municipal corporation with the request for help. The correct course would have been for the Mansa MC to write to the Local Bodies department, said Congress councillor Raju Thapar.

Thapar said that in an emergency situation or in times of natural calamity, it is permissible to rush employees perhaps. But he wondered if the situation in Mansa could be described as an emergency. He also wondered if the employees could be sent out without a nod from the Election Commission.

Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, Kusumjit Sidhu is learnt to have sought a report from the Local Bodies Department, Punjab about the death of the two sanitation employees at Mansa on April 29. She told The Tribune that she would be able to comment only after receiving a report from the state government. In any case, she said, class IV employees are not put on election duty.



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